As we reported, the CFPB has asked the Office of Management and Budget to approve the Bureau’s plans to conduct a national telephone survey of 1,000 credit card holders as part of its study of the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in connection with the offering of consumer financial products and services.  It is also seeking comments on its approval request, which must be filed by August 6, 2013. 

The survey is intended to explore consumer awareness of and perceptions regarding dispute resolution provisions in credit card agreements.  The CFPB’s documentation in support of its request to OMB includes a justification for the study.  In the justification, the CFPB states that while other studies have looked at the prevalence of arbitration provisions in various markets or explored arbitration outcomes, “little empirical research has focused on consumer awareness and assessment of arbitration provisions, including consumer awareness when choosing credit card products.”  The CFPB explains why its proposed study would not duplicate previous studies. 

The documentation indicates that the CFPB has not yet retained a contractor for the survey and “will rely heavily on the experience and expertise of the proposed contractor regarding the design and content of the proposed survey.” The documentation describes the methods for selecting survey respondents and procedures for collecting information that the CFPB plans to use, and includes a preliminary version of the proposed questionnaire with an explanation of the goal of each survey question.